We've been blessed with many, many awesome people who have worked at HubBub, adding their own flair to the day-to-day barista responsibilities and making our customers' coffee stops special. Without them, we'd be nothing! One of these folks is Amanda who's been holding it down as the Assistant Manager at our 3 Logan Square shop. She's the kind of person who brings focused enthusiasm to all she does, and can light a room up with her smile. Sure, that might sound a little corny but it's true!
Amanda started working with us in May of 2014. She'd recently moved to Philly from her hometown of Boston and knew she wanted to work in specialty coffee. Right away, she noticed something different about HubBub. "I'd worked in other coffee shops before and it seemed like no one there really cared about the coffee. People kind of cared about the customers, but it was really just a hustle. Here, it is a hustle, but it’s done with such sincerity," she says. "The people who work here really want to make and serve good coffee."
At our busy Center City shop, Amanda loves helping our regulars start their day right or re-energize their afternoon. "I connect so much with the customers here, it’s almost neighborly," she says. "People comment about how they’re blown away by our products and by how we’ve made this a place where people can come have a meeting or come and relax."
Ever since she was a kid, Amanda has drawn inspiration and joy from all kinds of art. When she was a teenager living in Salem, MA she'd take the train into Boston to visit the Public Gardens or a museum, or to catch an old movie at The Brattle. In high school she was a total art kid, deeply into photography and working in the dark room, throwing pottery on the wheel, reading literature, and going to punk and hardcore shows. She had an academic side, as well: "I was kind of a nerd!" she says. "I did Model UN, so I would go to summits and research all kinds of topics." Model UN helped shape her worldview as well - as she spent time researching global politics, she learned about war and genocides, and realized that she needed to develop an awareness of things going on the in the world outside of Boston.
When not working at HubBub, Amanda continues her artistic pursuits. She enjoys cooking and muses that maybe one day she'll study to become a pastry chef. "I’ve always wanted to go to culinary school and get really into gastronomy and making food," she says. "I’m good at cooking, but I look at pastry and baking like magic." She loves preparing southern French cuisine, like ratatouille, and her all time favorite thing to make is a Dijon cream chicken stew. Currently, influenced by her yoga practice, she's psyched on making kitchari, an Ayurvedic dish of mung daal and basmati rice with a rainbow of spices, that can be endlessly customized.
She's also just finished up an internship at The Clay Studio, rediscovering her passion for ceramics. "It was a wonderful experience," she says. "There’s something empowering about taking this ball of dirt and making something useful out of it." One of her dreams is to make dishes for professional food service. In fact, when she goes out to restaurants, she'll pick up the dinner plates and look at the bottom to see how they're made, and think about what designs might provide a better presentation. "A lot of places use the same stuff, but some places really care," she notes. "Front Street Café has these huge plates for salad, and I love them." At HubBub, Amanda often drinks her coffee from a super cute mug she made herself. It makes our coffee look so elegant!
While you'll see Amanda more often than not behind the bar at 3 Logan, she'll be out for a few weeks in September on a solo trip to Spain. "Barcelona has been in my mind for the longest time, because of their art, food, and wine. I just want to go experience that life of living on the Mediterranean," she says. She has a bunch of coffee shops she wants to check out while she's there, including the wild sounding Satan's Coffee Corner. Next time you see Amanda, wish her well on her travels!